The Emergence of Modern Public Administration

  • Robin Theobald


In his excellent short study of the development of public services in western Europe Sir Ernest Barker defines the state as ‘a territorial society (generally in our times, a territorial nation) organized as a legal association under and in virtue of a constitution. As such an association it observes a common law, and its members enjoy the rights and perform the duties which are guaranteed in that law’ (Barker, 1944, p. 3). But, Barker is quick to point out, this is a particularly modern conception of the state belonging to the twentieth century. If we go back to the pre-modern era, to the seventeenth century for example, the state is not regarded as an impersonal legal entity but as the living embodiment of an inheritance which reached into the dim and distant past.


Public Office State Apparatus Corrupt Practice Centralise Bureaucracy Regular Salary 
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Copyright information

© Robin Theobald 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Theobald
    • 1
  1. 1.Polytechnic of Central LondonUK

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